Author: Mary Bahr
Published: March 2000
Category: Kids - Reference (Life Skills 9-12 years)
"In If Nathan Were Here, author Mary Bahr gently explores the grief of a young boy whose best friend has died. With the help of an understanding teacher, a kind neighbor, and an empathetic parent, the boy finds ways to give expression to his questions and sorrow and to reach out to someone else who needs him."
What do you tell your son/daughter when their best friend passes away? How do you console them? A friend of one of my children died as a young teenager and, though they weren't "best" friends, it hurt none-the-less.
I recently discovered If Nathan Were Here and was so glad to see someone has taken on this difficult subject and did so in a most thoughtful manner. If Nathan Were Here is told from a boy's perspective as he recalls all the fun times he had with his best friend Nathan. As he engages in various activities, even walking Nathan's dog, the memories are so strong and the pain is real. When it becomes unbearable, he escapes to "their" treehouse. Here he feels close to his friend, and safe, and comforted.
I highly recommend this book for parents seeking to help their child cope with the loss of a loved one, specifically a close friend. If Nathan Were Here helps the child reader understand their feelings of loss, while acknowledging the good times that will always remain. Definitely one worth looking for.